If the truth is still out there, there’s a good chance it’s in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
In City of Glass, Douglas Coupland describes Vancouver as the Everycity, a place visually diverse enough to stand in for most any urban setting in North America, “save for those in the American Southwest and possibly Miami.” That and great tax credits explains why so many TV shows and movies are shot there, as much of the first five seasons of The X-Files were, before production moved to L.A., when the show lost its overcast, foggy “wet coast” look.
Most of the wooded scenes on the show—noteworthy for how they showcased Scully’s collection of amazing fluorescent Lands End parkas—were shot in a single north-Vancouver forest. And fans, naturally, are flocking.
The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in Lynn Valley, Vancouver, has by one recent account played everything from the Ecuadorian highlands to the taiga forests of eastern Siberia. In one instance (Season 2, Episode 8: “One Breath”) it even stood in for agent Skuly’s mid-coma dreamscape. Over five seasons, the LSCR played host devil worshipers, killer fungi, and Neanderthal women. In “Patient X,” it stood in for both a forest in Kazakhstan and Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Quite the range, this place.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny recently returned to Vancouver to begin shooting the limited-run revival of the show. No word on whether this most dynamic of landscapes will make an appearance, but we want to believe.
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• 25 Trips of a Lifetime